21 Ways to Market Your Writing: The Social Media Edition

Tools to Market Your WritingEarlier this week, I discussed 11 ways to market your writing services. In this post, we’ll delve into 10 more marketing methods, this time using social media and the Internet.

1. Use LinkedIn. If you subscribe to one of the paid levels on LinkedIn,  you can send InMail messages to anybody you want. At the $25 level you can send three a month, at the $50 one, 10 a month. The people don’t have to be connected to you. You can just identify prospects and send them a pitch letter. Here’s the kicker: LinkedIn reports sending InMail has a 30 percent response rate. Apparently it’s just so new and novel that it gets you noticed. That’s right–for every 10 of these you send, three prospects will contact you. Killer!

Other ways I use LinkedIn: Look at the “Who’s viewed my profile” box and click on “More.” Sometimes you’ll get an exact name, and then you can send them a message. Great way to connect with prospects. LinkedIn is also a happening place for job ads–many of them are exclusive to the site. Just toggle the search bar to ‘jobs’ and put in your key words.

2. Publish articles on Biznik. Writing a strong, informational article on the networking site Biznik is a great way to attract attention and find clients. Each week, many members (including me) get a digest of the most highly read and rated articles of the week…great way to get your expertise in front of a large audience of business professionals.

3. Find contacts on Twitter. For those who haven’t discovered this 140-character wonderland yet, Twitter is like the Wild West of networking in that it’s wide open–tons of companies and publication editors are on there learning and meeting new people. You can do searches on key words (such as a publication name you’re targeting), find people, and follow them. They’ll often check you out and follow back. You can use their profile to learn more about them, lurk around and see what they’re into, build up your cred on the system with followers and insightful post, and then direct mail (DM) them a very short intro or pitch, or contact them on email. You can also attract prospects by tweeting about what you’d like to do, i.e. “Looking to connect with more business magazine editors.” Twitter is also an increasingly popular place to find job listings. I set up a list with a bunch of writing-job tweeters on my page, so I can see a realtime feed of them at a single click.

4. Use your blog. Your blog can be a place for you to slap up your daily musings, or it can be an amazing showcase for your best writing. Read great bloggers who discuss the art of this format–Problogger, Chris Brogan or Write to Done, for instance–to get a sense of how brilliant you need to be. Then write it, circulate it around in social media, and they will come. Leverage your blog to get better blog assignments from more highly trafficked sites, and clients will find you through reading your posts. Happening to me all the time these days.

5. Comment on other people’s blogs. Participate in popular blogs on your topic. Sign with your URL and mention your latest blog post to draw interested visitors to your site. Then…see #4. I just got a serious mentoring prospect from a single comment I left on the About.com site for freelance writers along with my site URL, for instance.

6. Email marketing. Build an email list from prospect nibbles you get and business cards you collect at networking events. Create an e-newsletter with business writing tips. Send information every couple of weeks or so to keep your name in front of prospects — maybe a tips article, or a piece of news you noticed that you think would benefit your potential clients. Be helpful.

7. Facebook fan pages. Got a blog? Set up a fan page for it. Even if you don’t, set up a fan page just for you as a writer. Hold contests, take polls, get people interested. A growing way to connect with prospects, particularly those looking for writers who understand social media.

8. Web video. Video is an exploding online marketing tool. Make a short video describing how you work with clients and put it on YouTube. It’s one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet. Need I say more?

9. Google local and Citysearch. A lot of writers aren’t aware of Google’s local feature that allows you to put your business on the little map that often appears at the top of keyword searches. Great way to jump to the top of natural search results. Likewise, Citysearch recently went back to allowing free listings. So go get yours. When I did mine, there was like a big one other writer on there for all of Seattle. Score!

10. Your neighborhood forum. If you’re looking for small business clients or local publications, check out local forums. I’m on one on BigTent for moms on the island where I live, and it’s an amazing resource for knowing what’s going on in my community…and a specialized, intimate setting to get out the word about my writing.

Are you finding clients through social media? If so, leave your success story below. If not, what questions do you have about how to go about it? Let me know–I’m happy to answer reader questions here on the MALW blog.

Photo source: Flickr user webtreats

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12 comments on “21 Ways to Market Your Writing: The Social Media Edition
  1. I’m so glad to have found your web page. My pal mentioned it to me before, yet never got around to checking it out until now. I must express, I’m floored. I really enjoyed reading through your posts and will absolutely be back to get more.http://www.verizon-lte-phones.8lz.net

  2. Jenn Mattern says:

    Thanks for the list Carol! I actually wasn't aware of Biznik, so I'll have to give it a look and see if it's something that would fit into my marketing plan. 🙂

  3. Hi, Great blog you have here. I wanted to let you all know that I think Twitter is going to be one of the best networks because of the fact that it is supported by so many industries. I also think when Twitter shows some of it's new functions, returning traffic will go up to show the real growth of the network.

    Anyway, I created a blog that gives away great resources for Twitter that are 100% free, so come and visit and don't be a stranger.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. Carol Tice says:

    Thanks Stephaine!

    And thanks to whoever posted this to Delicious…I don't spend time on the bookmarking sites myself, though I know I should probably add that to my social-media tasks…

    Carol

  5. found your site on delicious today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

  6. Carol Tice says:

    I've been doing it full-time since late '05…make more as a freelance writer than I did as a staffer. So I'd have to say my answer is yes!

    Carol

  7. Hello, I was wondering if you could really do just this and not have another "normal" job? This is not just like a part-time 2nd job is it?

  8. I’ve written email marketing messages for clients, so I have a good idea of what my strategy will be. I just never managed the administrative duties. Constant Contact seems to have a great free trial, 60 days I believe. 60 days is a long time to try something out. There’s Aweber, too, which seems to be really popular. Let me know if you find someone to guest post about email marketing, however.
    That sounds neat!

  9. This is a great list! You can also answer questions on LinkedIn to demonstrate your expertise and connect with others in your industry.

    I actually posted a 5-part series entitled All About Email on my blog, so hopefully that will you give you some good pointers for getting started. I use MailChimp to manage my subscriber list and create pretty HTML-based emails.

  10. Carol Tice says:

    Meant to say I have not yet done email marketing, really…so I need to learn more about it too! Maybe I'll try to get an expert to do a guest post here so we can learn…

    Carol

  11. Carol Tice says:

    I haven't used Work.com…will check it out! I'm always toying with going to that InMail level on LI..but keep being too busy. Want to try it when I have time to identify great prospects to send those InMails to…

    Carol

  12. Carol,

    Thanks for sharing such an insightful list of marketing a writing business. I'm looking forward to implementing most of these: I'm going to upgrade my LinkedIn membership, and I'm going to add Biznik to my arsenal alongside Work.com (one you didn't mention but that Jennifer Mattern introduced me to). Also, I've been meaning to get a productivity email newsletter underway. I just wanted to find the right contact organizer to get it going so that I wasn't mass emailing or having to send the same email over and over again. I don't have anything to invest in this at the moment, so do you have any suggestions for an email newsletter distribution service that's free? Or a paid one for which I should budget up to invest in?

    Thanks again,

    – Jessie